Do Easterners Feel More Discomfort in Response to Positive Information Than Westerners?

Chang Soo Kim, McGill University, Canada
Tai Hoon Cha, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Korea
Myung-Soo Jo, McGill University, Canada
Positive information usually elicits favorable reactions, though cultural differences and varied information processing styles may evoke different reactions to positive information. In particular, Easterners and Westerners may experience varying levels of discomfort in response to positive information. Easterners likely sense greater discomfort and process positive information more systematically and with counterarguments, because they tend to exhibit greater hindsight bias and rely more on relationships. Westerners process positive information to avoid contradiction and achieve categorization, so they likely sense a reinforcement of that information. The findings confirm that Easterners feel more discomfort in the face of positive information and higher motivations to reduce that discomfort than do Westerners. Implications involve the negative effects of positive information in international promotion settings and different receptions of positive information across countries.
[ to cite ]:
Chang Soo Kim, Tai Hoon Cha, and Myung-Soo Jo (2010) ,"Do Easterners Feel More Discomfort in Response to Positive Information Than Westerners?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 833-834 .